Monday 11 December 2017

Cronin is now hot favourite to take third British title

KEITH Cronin's improbable bid for a third British Rally Championship title is still right on target after his victory in the Jim Clark Rally last weekend.

Cronin's second win in succession was hard won and well deserved as he moved to within two points of joint series leaders Elfyn Evans and Tom Cave, despite missing the first round.

Having made a surprise return to rallying on round two, Cronin is now the hot favourite for title honours after two wins and a second place but he had to shrug off the considerable distraction of a recurring broken brake pedal to record an eventual 1m16s win over Cave.

Cronin and co-driver Marshall Clarke led a Citroen DS3 1-2-3 on the only closed-road event in Britain on the schedule.

At the finish in Duns town centre, a delighted Keith Cronin said: "This certainly wasn't the easiest of events, especially with the brake pedal problem, but I'm delighted that the result was the right one in the end. It's great to win this event, especially against such strong competition and because it's been so tough. This has really helped our chances in the championship."

The MSA British Rally Championship now takes an 11-week summer break before round five, the Antrim-based Toddsleap international Rally NI -- the second of the season's two asphalt events -- on August 17 and 18.

Damage

Further afield Peter Dempsey's new Younessi Racing team is in a race against time to repair his car for the next round of the Firestone Indylights series after his accident in the Detroit on Saturday.

Despite the extensive damage done to his Dallara as he pinballed from one wall to another at more than 150mph, Dempsey's fledgling squad will not be lacking for motivation in their task as the crash occurred as the Ashbourne native was challenging for second place.

Having qualified a fine sixth without the benefit of new tyres, Dempsey's race pace indicates that the team, created this year for team owner/driver Younessi, is already competitive.

The next event is on the fabled mile oval in Milwaukee on Saturday week where Dempsey will be hoping for a strong points finish after two abrupt departures from his first two races with the squad.

At home, the Motor Enthusiasts Club promotes next Sunday's race meeting in Mondello Park where Lee Newsome will renew his battle for the Pony Express Formula Vee title with multi champion Ray Moore.

Newsome's three wins gives him the edge in points over Moore who has seen the chequered flag first on two occasions this season.

Indo Motoring

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